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5:40 am
Sun June 7, 2015

Deep Connections Link The Stories In 'Louisa Meets Bear'

Originally published on Sun June 7, 2015 10:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:40 am
Sun June 7, 2015

Dante Guides A Husband Through Grief 'In A Dark Wood'

Originally published on Sun June 7, 2015 10:35 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
3:18 pm
Sat June 6, 2015

'Balm' Looks At Civil War After The Battles, Outside The South

Courtesy of Amistad

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 11:22 am

Dolen Perkins-Valdez wants to change readers' perspective on the Civil War. Her best-selling debut novel, Wench, explored the lives of slave women — not on Southern plantations, but in a resort for slaveowners' mistresses in Ohio. Her new book, Balm, is set in the postwar period, and it's also in an unexpected place: Chicago.

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Author Interviews
5:37 am
Sat June 6, 2015

A New Judy Blume Novel For Adults Is Always An 'Event'

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 8:10 am

Judy Blume, the incomparable writer for young adults, has a new novel for adult adults, about something totally unexpected: People falling from the sky, and how that can change onlookers for life in ways they only see when they're grown. In the Unlikely Event is a story told by a chorus of voices — most of them young — beginning with Miri and her mother, Rusty, who see a fireball fall from the sky in Elizabeth, N.J. "It's not my story, but I was 14 years old, the winter of 1951-1952 when this bizarre thing happened," Blume tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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Author Interviews
5:37 am
Sat June 6, 2015

Biker Bars And Holy Rollers Smolder In 'Freedom's Child'

Originally published on Sat June 6, 2015 10:44 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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U.S.
3:19 am
Sat June 6, 2015

Behind The Camera: How 'Vanity Fair' Got Its 'Call Me Caitlyn' Cover

Vanity Fair's Twitter page shows its July cover with Caitlyn Jenner. The issue and photo shoot had to be planned in secret.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 4:31 pm

Many people may not have read the article but millions of people have seen the cover photo for "Call Me Caitlyn," next month's issue of Vanity Fair, which introduces Caitlyn Jenner to the world. She is the Olympic gold medal winner formerly known as Bruce.

But what was the process of getting the cover done? And how did Vanity Fair keep it a secret? Graydon Carter, editor-in-chief of the magazine, joined Scott Simon from his office in New York. What follows are highlights of their conversation, edited for clarity and space.

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Code Switch
1:44 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Former Baltimore Mayor: City Must Confront The 'Rot Beneath The Glitter'

Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, is now the president of the University of Baltimore.
Courtesy of the University of Baltimore

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 5:58 am

It's the end of a tough week in Baltimore. Tensions continue in the Freddie Gray case. And now the murder rate has spiked to a 40-year high. One man who understands well what the city is going through is Kurt Schmoke. He's a native son and was elected as Baltimore's first black mayor in 1987. He served three terms, grappling with high unemployment, poor schools and violent crime.

Now the president of the University of Baltimore, Schmoke shares his memories of the city and his thoughts about moving it forward with Morning Edition.

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Music Interviews
3:31 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story On Film

Paul Dano (center) co-stars in Love & Mercy as Brian Wilson in the 1960s heyday of The Beach Boys.
Francois Duhamel Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 6:50 pm

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Music Interviews
4:43 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Mumford & Sons On Plugging In And Turning Up

Mumford & Sons' electrified new album is called Wilder Mind.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 5:07 pm

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National Security
3:30 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Gen. Martin Dempsey On Iraq: A Fight That Will Take 'Multiple Years'

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey speaks during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 23. In an interview with NPR, he says he's not surprised by the slow going against the Islamic State, predicting it will be a "long campaign."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 10:42 pm

Gen. Martin Dempsey has spent more than a decade dealing with Iraq, and as his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs winds down, he sees a conflict that will long outlast his time in uniform.

Dempsey helped train the Iraqi military from 2005 to 2007 in what he describes as a "debacle" in the early stages. He saw the rapid rise of the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. And now he oversees the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the extremist group in both Iraq and Syria.

And he has no illusions it will be quick or easy.

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The Salt
1:41 am
Tue June 2, 2015

A Tome For Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Mixed ceviche from Peru: The Cookbook.
Courtesy of Phaidon Press

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 12:42 pm

Maybe you've noticed a dish that keeps popping up in more restaurants across the U.S.

Peru is one of the countries that lays claim to ceviche, which is made of raw fish and chilies, cured in lime juice.

So how do you know you're tasting a perfect ceviche?

"In the first bite, you want to find a strong citrus flavor balanced with the fish, and a little bit spicy, but a fresh spicy given by a fresh chili," says chef Gaston Acurio.

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Author Interviews
3:35 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Rich Housewives Go Under The Microscope In 'Primates Of Park Avenue'

Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 10:13 am

On the hunt from a good public school for her son, Wednesday Martin moved from her old home in downtown Manhattan to a new one just a few miles north. The spots were no more than a short cab ride away from one another, yet she soon found they were galaxies apart in personality.

For one thing, the moms around her looked entirely different.

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Author Interviews
4:07 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

North Korean Defector Reflects On Life 'Under The Same Sky'

Joseph Kim was born in North Korean in 1990, and he came to the United States in 2007. Currently, Kim attends college in New York City.
Martin Bentsen Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 10:13 am

Few can imagine what it is like to be homeless and starving as a child. Few can imagine life in the hermit kingdom of North Korea. However, refugee Joseph Kim knows both very well and he gives us a window into those worlds in his new memoir Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America.

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Music Interviews
4:07 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

When Nora Jane Struthers' Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

Nora Jane Struthers' new album is titled Wake.
Courtesy of the artist

Nora Jane Struthers may never have become a singer-songwriter if her identity hadn't been stolen. Rebuilding her life allowed her to take a risk and do something she'd wanted to for years. It paid off: She has a new album out titled Wake.

Her story begins at a charter school in Brooklyn where Struthers worked as an English teacher.

"I started teaching sophomores and moved to teaching seniors in my last year," Struthers says. "I loved it."

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Author Interviews
3:09 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

'Like An Avalanche': Otis Redding's Unstoppable Crossover

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as "bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history."
Volt Records / Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 4:07 pm

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Movie Interviews
3:05 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

Fact-Checking 'San Andreas': Are Earthquake Swarms For Real?

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Carla Gugino star in the action thriller San Andreas.
Jasin Boland Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 11:11 pm

The new movie San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock), is about a California earthquake so powerful that it destroys Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people can feel it all the way over on the East Coast.

Could this really happen? And can earthquakes ever be predicted, as one scientist (played by Paul Giamatti) succeeds in doing in this movie? We did some fact-checking with seismologist Lucile Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Iraq
6:47 am
Sat May 30, 2015

Thousands Who Run, Few Who Fight: A Journalist On Ramadi's Fall

Iraqi anti-terrorism forces patrol in central Ramadi, Iraq, on April 18. A month later, the city fell to the self-declared Iraqi State. Ayman Oghanna, a journalist who was embedded with Iraqi Special Forces in the city, says the Special Forces are capable precision fighters — but are being asked to fill the role of an entire military.
AP

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 5:58 am

More than a week ago, the Iraqi city of Ramadi, in Anbar province, was taken by the self-declared Islamic State.

The fall of that key city wasn't just a setback for Iraq: It was also a blow to the current U.S. strategy of trying to contain ISIS through air strikes.

Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militias allied with the Iraqi government continue to move against ISIS in Anbar Province. The battles bring back American memories. Some of the fiercest fighting in the Iraq War ocurred there, and many Americans died trying to win back the city of Ramadi from Sunni insurgents.

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Author Interviews
5:43 am
Sat May 30, 2015

How Bad Risotto Led To A House 'Full Of Yogis': A Critic's Childhood Story

Brahma Kumaris fill Will Hodgkinson's suburban living room on a Saturday in 1982.
Liz Hodgkinson Courtesy of Will Hodgkinson

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 9:14 am

When Will Hodgkinson was a kid just outside of London, his whole family was laid low after eating some bad chicken risotto. His father, Nev (short for Neville), a well-regarded science writer, was especially sick and took months to recover. During that time, he rethought his life and put it back together in a way that upended his happy family, but may also have enriched them.

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Television
1:44 am
Fri May 29, 2015

'Halt And Catch Fire' Explores What It Was Like For Women In '80s Tech

Actress Mackenzie Davis plays an '80s punk software developer in AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. The second season premieres May 31.
RIchard DuCree AMC

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 1:23 pm

The TV series Halt and Catch Fire tells a story you might not expect about the personal computer revolution of the 1980s. For one thing, it's set in Texas, not Silicon Valley. And though there are plenty of bearded, bespectacled men building things in garages, the resident software genius is a woman. Cameron Howe, played by actress Mackenzie Davis, is a punk, anarchist loner who intimidates many of her co-workers.

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All Tech Considered
12:50 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Got A Voice For Radio? The Algorithm Speaks

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 7:46 am

Nearly a thousand of you heeded our call on All Tech Considered to submit a voice sample. The idea: Let a computer algorithm decide if you have a voice for radio.

Now, we've got the results.

Actor Wilbur Fitzgerald rated highly (surprise, surprise):

But most of you who responded are not actors. And it turns out, you don't need professional training to impress man or machine.

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Author Interviews
4:54 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

Courtesy of Dutton

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 8:46 am

TV recently lost its manliest man — a small-town government employee named Ron Swanson. Actor Nick Offerman's run on NBC's Parks and Recreation ended when the show went off the air in February. He's since shaved his mustache and gotten back to his normal self.

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Interviews
3:18 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

'It's For You To Know That You Forgive,' Says Holocaust Survivor

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor sits in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany, on April 21, 2015. She testified at the trial of 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening.
Julian Stratenschulte AP

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 4:54 pm

Around this time 70 years ago, following the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in Europe, the world was coming to grips with the scale of the holocaust, and how to deal with crimes so horrendous, they're almost incomprehensible.

That process is still ongoing.

Right now in Germany, a 93-year-old former Nazi who served at Auschwitz is on trial. Holocaust survivor Eva Kor flew to Germany to testify about her experience in the camp.

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Code Switch
5:31 am
Sun May 24, 2015

Novelist Mat Johnson Explores The 'Optical Illusion' Of Being Biracial

Mat Johnson is the author of Pym, Drop, Hunting in Harlem and The Great Negro Plot as well as several graphic novels including Incognegro, Dark Rain and Right State.
Meera Bowman Johnson

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 7:34 am

Growing up in Philadelphia, Mat Johnson lived mostly with his mother in a black neighborhood. The son of an African-American mother and an Irish-American father, his skin was so light that he might have passed for white. But being biracial meant only one thing back in the '70s: "Um, it meant: black," Johnson says with a laugh. "There wasn't a lot of ambiguity there. I didn't hear the world biracial or didn't think of myself as biracial. And when I did hear that, I reacted to it defensively.

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Book News & Features
3:45 am
Sun May 24, 2015

This Weekend, Navigate The Changing World Of 'Vikram Lall'

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 9:15 am

It's the 1950s in Kenya, and young Vikram Lall is a third-generation Indian boy coming of age during a time of great political unrest, as a group of fighters known as the Mau-Mau try to break free of British rule.

The In-Between World of Vikram Lall is his story, told by the adult Vikram, who's living in exile, decades after his African childhood. He's reflecting on his life — a life in which friends were murdered and few could be trusted.

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Author Interviews
7:48 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

What If The Drought Doesn't End? 'The Water Knife' Is One Possibility

Ariel Zambelich NPR

What if the devastating drought in the western U.S. doesn't end? A few years ago, the science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi started exploring what could happen.

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Movie Interviews
4:01 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

'Sunshine Superman': A Love Story Against The Backdrop of BASE Jumping

Jean and Carl Boenish in jump down a ledge towards camera.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:40 pm

Two climbers died May 16 as they attempted a wing suit flight in Yosemite National Park. Dean Potter and Graham Hunt were BASE jumping, a sport that involves parachuting from a fixed structure.

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Television
4:01 pm
Sat May 23, 2015

Alfonso Ribeiro Wants To Let 'Funniest Home Videos' Shine

Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will host America's Funniest Home Videos for its 26th season starting in the fall.
Sam Diephuis

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:49 pm

America's Funniest Home Videos has a new host.

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Iraq
7:00 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Robert Gates: Obama Should Step Up Military Assistance To Iraq

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in 2014. "There's no certainty about any of this," he says of the situation in Iraq.
Mark Zaleski AP

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

The self-declared Islamic State gained a real grip on Iraq and Syria this week, capturing the cities of Ramadi and parts of Mosul in Iraq, and the ancient town Palmyra, Syria.

Most recently, ISIS has claimed credit for a suicide bomb attack inside Saudi Arabia on a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers. That attack killed at least 19 and could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

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Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

'Dietland': A 'Fight Club' For Women That Reclaims The Word 'Fat'

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

There is something unique about the protagonist of Sarai Walker's new novel: She's fat, a word many try to avoid using to describe a person. But not Walker.

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Fine Art
2:43 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

The Exquisite Dissonance Of Kehinde Wiley

Jason Wyche Courtesy of Sean Kelly/Copyright Kehinde Wiley

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:32 pm

This week, the Brooklyn Museum is wrapping up its mid-career retrospective of artist Kehinde Wiley — which means 14 years of work and something like 60 paintings.

It's been drawing a diverse and large crowd, partly because Wiley's work has been featured on the TV show Empire, and partly because he is a well-known and, in some ways, controversial figure in the art world. Wiley takes contemporary figures — oftentimes young black men and women — and places them in old European art traditions: Oil paintings, portraits, stained glass and even bronze sculpture.

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